I am a bit torn here.

While I understand what Florida legislators are trying to do here, I still think we as a society need to rid ourselves of the notion that a “warning shot” — or an intentional shot anywhere other than to the head or center of mass” — is ever a good idea.

I was about to say, “never mind the fact that you’ll get crucified by an overzealous prosecutor,” but how can anyone really think that firing a gun at anyone just to scare them is ever a good idea? It’s been said before, but it needs to be said again and again — firing a warning shot is in general a very bad idea, as it will leave the impression even with the layman that you didn’t think your target was dangerous enough to kill.

Also, never mind the particular situation mentioned in the story — that warning shot you fire leaves you with one fewer bullet to use when shit really does go pear-shaped and you’re forced into a situation in which you really, no-shit have to “kill or be killed,” and then what are you going to do if you need that bullet?

And then, of course, there are the legal ramifications of the law — as a Facebook friend put it, “That’s just one idiotic judge away from REQUIRING a warning shot or some idiotic notion of shooting to wound.” You know you can hear it now. “Why didn’t you fire a warning shot at my honor student?” Of course, you hear that now already, but do we really want the horror of the family of somebody who died in a truly righteous shoot being able to sue?

It’ll be interesting to see what happens with this — in the sense of the ancient alleged Chinese curse….

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4 Responses to “I am a bit torn here.”

  1. GomeznSA Says:

    A warning shot ‘may’ be warranted in military situations, depending on the rules of engagement in place and perhaps in a law enforcement setting (like say a riot in a prison) but imho they would not ever be justified in a self-defense situation. If one is indeed in fear of their life/wellbeing (of that of another) then appropriate use of force is then warranted. Period.

  2. stainles Says:

    Also, when you fire a warning shot, it has to go SOMEWHERE. Bullets don’t magically sense they are being fired as “warning shots” and disappear in a cloud of lead dust.

    Maybe you fire into the air. Great. The bullet has to come down somewhere. This is why we don’t shoot into the air on New Year’s Eve, either.

    Maybe you fire into the ground. Great. Perhaps the bullet embeds itself in the dirt. Or perhaps it hits a sprinkler head or a rock and ricochets back at you. Or at an unarmed uninvolved third party.

    If you’re justified in shooting, shoot. Don’t mess with warning shots.

  3. John Says:

    The law actually does not mention “warning shots”. It removes the penalty for showing a gun when one ends up not having to shoot anyone. When you hear talk about the “warning shot bill”, remember that many in the media still call Stand Your Ground ” the law that allows Floridians to shoot first if they feel threatened”. I have several times offered to pay $1000 to someone if they could show me where the text of the law mentioned anyone’s feelings.

  4. Sunday FB Pics and Links | Aewl's Abode Says:

    […] Live From Alamo City is a bit torn concerning warning shots. […]

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